What is social proofing? Similar to the "herd mentality", it's the attraction we have to people, places and things because other people are interested. When we see a line outside a restaurant or a crowd surrounding a street performer, most of us pay attention. There's something good going on over there. I think I'll check it out. The crowd is the "proof" to you that something worthwhile is happening. It works the same way in inbound marketing.
Social Proofing Your Blog Posts
- Use social bookmarking widgets at the top of your blog posts that show the number of updates, tweets, etc. Readers will naturally gravitate towards popular posts. If they see a crowd, they will read on...
- Encourage comments by discussing hot topics and asking questions of your readers. Nothing grabs readers like tons of interesting comments.
- If you get really lucky, you might get a comment or two from a powerful social media influencer and maybe a mention in Twitter or Facebook. That will really bring in the crowds.
Social Proofing Your Webinars
- Create a special landing page for signing up and include the number of registrants on the page
- Let people know how many people have signed up already in your pre-webinar e-mails and social media promotions (assuming there are more than a handful)
- If you start to get a lot of sign-ups, create a sense of urgency by placing a sold-out limit on the webinar and let people know about it via Twitter and Facebook.
- During the webinar (if your webinar software allows), show the number of participants, or even allow your attendees to converse with each other in the chat room. That will really create a buzz among your guests and perhaps encourage them to enlist other attendees via tweets and Facebook updates.
- Follow-up the webinar with a thank you summary e-mail that summarizes the event and shows how many attended. That will help you gain a following for the next webinar.
Social Proofing Your Personal Brand
- Social media isn't strictly a numbers game, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have thousands of followers. When people see the 2 million plus Twitter followers next to Pete Cashmore's name (@mashable), it's like a huge line outside a rock concert. And yes, they're listening.
- Update your social media profiles. In addition to letting people know who you are and what you do, let them know where you hang out in social media. Include links to your other major profiles and websites.
- Be proud of your social media presence - wear it like a badge. Place social media icons linked to your profiles in your business card, e-mail signature, stationery (assuming you still use it) and web page(s) that display your smiling face. If you're out there and participating in social media, you want people to know that. It will help both your personal brand and your business.
Social proofing your blogs, webinars and profiles validates your content and helps to bring in more crowds.
What social proofing ideas have you used to build your brand and capture leads?
Photo credit: t3rmin4t0r